In 1998-99, there were almost 16,000 full-time EU students but numbers fell to 14,000 in 2000-1. The drop looks set to continue this year as applications for UK courses starting in Sepember have fallen by more than 2,000.
However, figures given by Malcolm Wicks, lifelong learning minister, in answer to Tory education spokesperson Tim Boswell, show that the number of students from other overseas countries has continued to rise.
Compiled by Jon Slater from Hansard. PQs can be found at www.parliament.uk